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Measuring and Drawing Insulin

Oct 7, 2013

I recently took care of a patient who came in with hypoglycemia: her blood glucose level was 34 mg/dl. She had been recently discharged from the hospital prior to this admission and was advised to increase her Glyburide from 5 mg to 10 mg daily….

The hospitalists informed me that I could proceed with educating the husband on how to give the patient insulin since her kidneys were also failing during this admission. I visited with the husband and he said he already knew how to give her insulin. In fact, he had given her 3 doses prior to this admission. I asked him to demonstrate how to draw and administer insulin. I asked him to draw 1 unit and he pulled 10 units out. He then realized that he had been giving her more than what she needed. I showed him the correct way of drawing insulin and he commented that, “Nobody told me that.” He was very thankful.

Lesson Learned:

All the different types of syringes and pens can be confusing for patients and caregivers. Making sure they have the correct product can prevent serious problems. And for all your patients new to insulin, have them or their caregiver demonstrate how they measure, draw insulin, and inject.

Diabetes Nurse Educator

Copyright © 2013 Diabetes in Control, Inc. 


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